Driving Directions Qatar

QATAR, an oil-rich emirate that lies halfway along the Gulf Coast, is an absolute monarchy. A former British Protectorate, it became fully independent in 1971.

It comprises a low barren peninsula and a few small islands. Apart from some low hills in the northwest, it consists of low-lying, arid, stony desert and salt flats.

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The climate is hot and uncom­fortably humid in summer, and the winters are mild with rain in the north (less than 127 millimeters or 5 inches a year).

Vegetation and wildlife species are limited and adapted to desert conditions.

Most freshwater comes from natural springs and wells or desalination plants. Some vegetables and fruit are grown, but sheep, goats, and some cattle are the main agricultural activity.

The country is famous for its high-quality camels. The discovery and exploitation of oil have resulted in a high standard of living for Qatar’s people, with some of the revenue being used to build hospitals and a road system and provide free education and medical care for its citizens.

The Dukhan oil field has an expected life of 40 years, and the reserves of natural gas are enormous. New manufacturing industries, such as iron and steel, cement, fertilizers, and petrochemical plants, developed to diversify the economy.

Google maps™ Qatar

Qatar’s terrain is mostly a flat and barren desert covered with loose sand and gravel, with some low hills and a central limestone plateau.

Qatar borders the Persian Gulf on the north, east, and southeast and the Gulf of Bahrain on the west. A notable feature of the coastal area is salt pans’ prevalence, which are shallow depressions made up of salt flats (sabkhas). Their presence at the base of the peninsula suggests that Qatar was an island at one time. Coral reefs impede navigation in the coastal seas surrounding Qatar, as does the shallowness of these waters.

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